Thursday, December 11, 2008

32b - Jesus Christ is The Savior, Redeemer, Judge and God of All Mankind!

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Nephi Trekking Across the Desert Somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula -by Scott Snow
 Nephi, the fourth son of Father Lehi, is shown here as he along with the rest of his father's family and relatives and even a conscripted loyal friend, crossed the Arabian Peninsula about 600 B.C. on their way to their promised land, which we now know as Central America.

After Lehi's family and their relatives and friend had been in the Americas and had been through many difficulties, but nonetheless were well established in their promised land to which the Lord had led them; the prophet, Nephi, son of Lehi who had become the leader of the nation upon the death of Father Lehi, wrote this very significant statement:

II Nephi 33:3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.
5 And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.
6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat. (emphasis added)
Now I ask you to read this next scriptural reference. In it Nephi bares his soul to us, making it clear that what the Lord Jesus wants of us, is that we live righteously and that we do so with humble hearts as he, Nephi did. (Listening to the second half of a chapter requires you listen to the first half of the chapter also. You may want to just read without listening.)
II Nephi 4:14-35

Surely Nephi's faith that the Lord would hear his cry regarding the salvation of his people, the Nephites, would be fulfilled. I'm sure Nephi did not expect all of his people to be saved because he had seen in his lifetime that it was a great struggle for his people, and even for himself (See the previous scripture I referred you to), at times, to remain righteous.

Now in the first chapter from the Book of Mormon I refer you to below you will find out what happened to Nephi's descendants. Not all of those living in the Americas at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ were his and his father's descendants as the Book of Mormon elsewhere makes clear, but Nephi's posterity are among those discussed in this chapter.

Please read the following scripture: (I suggest that you consider listening along with reading this scripture.

III Nephi 8:1-25

I have read that chapter many times in my Seventy six years of life, but this time, after having been very emotionally involved in writing this series of posts, my grief for the disaster described in this chapter was much greater than I expected. That was decreed by Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus, (who are totally in agreement with one another in whatever they decree), because of the wickedness of many in the Nephite Nation at the time of the Savior's crucifixion.

My emotions, and perhaps yours too, were not only involved in the Savior's ministry and in His having accomplished the great atonement and resurrection for all mankind, including all of us, but also, you, like me, have been rooting for a good number of Father Lehi's posterity to succeed in living faithfully and enduring persecutions, and in fine, following the example of their present prophet, Nephi, so that when Christ appears to them they will be alive and faithful to all that their prophets had taught them. The righteous among them were saved!
After I had just read and listened to all of Chapter 8 of 3 Nephi, I involuntarily uttered the word, WOW! Then I felt great sorrow for those who were destroyed who were not only descendants of Lehi and many of the other great prophets whose life stories are told in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, but also of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt (one of the greatest prophets of all time in my opinion) who knew, according to Father Lehi, by the spirit of Prophecy and Revelation, that he would have posterity on this earth until the end of time.

What happened in Central America soon after the crucifixion of our Savior, did not invalidate the promise the Lord made to Joseph who was sold into Egypt. Some of his and Lehi's and Nephi's descendants were still living after that great cataclysm brought about by a exceedingly huge seismic event.* I was so emotionally involved in reading and listening to Chapter 8 that I momentarily neglected to read and listen, to Chapter 9 to better understand what happened to those Nephites who had remained faithful to Christ. I have now done so and suggest that you do so also.

Listening would be a good option if I may so suggest: III Nephi 9:1-22
In summary, you just read that the Nephites who survived the great destruction, heard the voice of Christ proclaim the destruction of many people because of their wickedness and proclaiming His divinity. You then read that He announced that the Law of Moses was fulfilled and that He invites men to come unto Him and be saved.

To bring you further along in your understanding of what happened to the Nephites who survived the great earthquakes. I invite you to also read and listen to III Nephi Chapter 10. In it Mormon, the compiler of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, tells them that the people heard the voice of Christ speak to them from heaven so as to prepare them for His imminent visit. Because this scripture begins with verse 1 I suggest you consider using the Listen feature.
III Nephi 10:1-19

In a few days I'll publish another blogpost in which you will read of Jesus descending from heaven and teaching those of the Nephites who remained after the great destruction who were able to be there that day. I'll look forward to publishing that post for your benefit and enjoyment.
* Regarding the seismic event which was reported to have occurred in Central America which caused so much destruction, about which you just read, Dan L. Peterson of the Neal Maxwell Institute for Scholarly Education at BYU talks about this in a YouTube video, which can be viewed and listened to, by going to either my #4 or #8 posts and clicking on the arrow which appears on Brother Peterson's image. To sum up what Dan Peterson said, modern scientists who have studied firsthand the damage caused by huge seismic earthquakes, and the way that damage came about, after having studied the description given in III Nephi of the kinds of damage that was reported and the way in which it all happened, is just what these knowledgeable scientists reported that they would expect from a very huge seismic event. They don't happen all the time, but have occurred and have been studied in the recent past by the experts . This is strong evidence that neither Joseph Smith nor any other man in 1830 could have made up the Book of Mormon. In that time they couldn't have come up with such accurate details of the damage caused by a seismic catastrophy and the accurate description of what was actually happening to bring it about.
When one really reads the Book of Mormon, the evidences of its truthfulness appear in great abundance, as hopefully you personally have been finding out, along with the sure witness of the Spirit that can come to you heart, that it is God's true word. Please read all of this chapter I'm referring you to, but I suggest you consider especially focusing on the three verses specified below!

Moroni 10: 4-6


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Neil Birch

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